Paddock Postcard from Sao Paulo - updated 07 Nov 2010
As Johnny Herbert once again stepped in to assist the stewards in their rulings over the weekend, other familiar racing faces at Interlagos included those great friends and rivals Sir Jackie Stewart and Emerson Fittipaldi, and the latters fellow Brazilian racers Mario Moraes, Luciano Burti, Maurizio Sandro Sala and Alex Ribiero.
At McLaren, former team principal Ron Dennis also paid a visit, as did Lewis Hamiltons rapper friend and major F1 fan, Pharrell Williams of N*E*R*D.
Williams was on the support bill for Friday nights F1 Rocks™ with LG in Sao Paulo show, which saw thunder, lightening, wind and torrential rain provide a dramatic backdrop to Eminems first ever appearance in Latin America. Battling with the elements, soaked to the skin and standing ankle deep in water on a water-logged stage, the US star and his band gave a memorable performance in front of 25,000 adoring Brazilian fans.
The makers of the new Ayrton Senna movie, writer Manish Pandey, director Asif Kapadia and producer James Gay-Rees, were also seen as guests at McLaren, and reviews of the film, which got its Sao Paulo premiere on Wednesday evening, have been highly favourable.
On Sunday morning Fittipaldi evoked yet more Brazilian racing nostalgia when he did an all-too brief demonstration of a Classic Team Lotus John Player Special Lotus 72 similar to that with which he (at the time) became the youngest-ever world champion in 1972.
The car, tended by devout Lotus engineer Chris Dinnage, reposed in a bespoke garage close to the paddock entrance which was accurately styled to capture the feel and spirit of a typical pit of the era.
Fittipaldi had earlier in the week driven the car on a public flyover downtown, and was so overcome with emotion that he had to compose himself before facing the television cameras.
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